Costs Down, Safety Up! Insurance Tips for Small-Business Owners

A safe employee is a happy employee. Employees like to come a workplace in which they don’t feel put at risk. Sounds simple, right? Well, actually, things can be a little tricky sometimes, and even basic things can be overlooked while you’re in the rush of all your other tasks. We all forget from time to time.

So here are a few things that nearly every small business owner can do to keep the workplace safe and insurance costs low.

Invest in Proper Safety Signage

A good sign is eye-catching, informative and visually appealing. A good sign can also save your workers’ health. Common OSHA issued-signs, such as the ones detailing safe techniques for lifting heavy boxes, provide physician recommendations and other expert advice. By following techniques described on these signs, your employees will avoid common injuries, such as cuts, chemical burns, abrasions and repetitive-stress injuries.

And even if your employee doesn’t follow the signs’ guidelines and injures herself or himself, your insurance costs won’t be as heavily affected; you provided good advice, it’s just that your worker didn’t follow it. The injury is not your fault.

Inspect Equipment Regularly

Old equipment doesn’t always work. And equipment that doesn’t work can put workers at risk. For instance, a tool with rusty screws could come apart while in use and cut a worker. And rust carries a risk of tetanus, so your worker could be doubly at risk. All of these little things can add up.

So, take care of you equipment, and make sure your employees are working with the best, most up-to-date tools around. Assign inspection duty and regular checkups on objects with small parts that could go bad. Your insurance costs will be much more affordable in your low-risk workplace.

Train Employees on Proper Use of Personal Protective Equipment

The best equipment in the world won’t do any good if you and your workers don’t know how to use it right. Investing in good, thorough training can seem like a waste of money for something as simple as wearing a pair of safety goggles, but you would be amazed at the things real people do when they’re not given clear instructions.

Whatever safety equipment you have, make sure every employee is given hands-on training with the opportunity to actually use the equipment. People learn better when they participate; it’s not enough just to watch.

And, as with signage, proper training can save you on insurance costs even if things do go wrong and someone gets hurt. If you can show documentation that your employee received proper training and just ignored it, you’ll likely save some money.

Overall, Just Stick to the Basics

Safety works best when it doesn’t get too complicated. If you stick to a basic plan of worker safety, your workers can learn without wasting too much mental effort or getting confused. By posting good signs, ensuring the quality and maintenance of equipment and giving people proper training, you’ll have happy workers and a healthy bank account.

Donna Fitzgerald is a contributor to